Clarifying the “Rabbits” Reference

Fiona Broome replies to Terry Miles' "Rabbits"

My copy of “Rabbits” just arrived. So far, it looks like a fun book.

Also, I’m always impressed when someone successfully writes fiction in the first person. To me, that seems far more challenging than third-person storytelling.

But, since – this week – several friends mentioned page 256 (hardcover edition) and journalists are now asking me about this, I want to respond immediately.

Most of the description on that page of “Rabbits” seems pretty good. And yes, it’s fiction, so I’m not going to have a meltdown over a few misstatements. Mr. Miles included a common, boilerplate summary of my role in Mandela Effect discussions, and – in the context of the story – it’s “good enough.” (I mean it.)

But, for purists (and enquiring journalists), here’s what I’d like to clarify:

  • I’ve never claimed that I coined the phrase, “the Mandela Effect.” It was verbal shorthand developed in a 2009 Dragon Con conversation. The phrase may have been coined by Shadowe, Dragon Con’s Security Manager. Or it may have been quipped by my husband. Or by someone else who joined that brief, “green room” conversation. It’s possible that I came up with the phrase, but unlikely.
  • My then-manager, Marc Tetlow may have been the person who suggested changing my description from “ghost researcher” to “paranormal consultant.” Or, it may have been someone else, when the Ghost Hunters’ TV series producers briefly objected to me using the phrase “ghost hunter.” I don’t recall. It was a long time ago. (Personally, my self-description of choice is “blip analyst,” usually said in a flippant tone of voice. Really, I don’t take myself – or job titles – that seriously.)
  • I have never claimed that I remembered Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the 1980s. I’ve tried to make a point of explaining that I’d thought I’d remembered that, but – since that was a very busy time in my life – it may have been someone else’s funeral. I do recall that it pre-empted the usual TV shows my family watched. You can read more about that at Nelson Mandela Died in Prison? (I have yet to find a reasonable explanation for what I’d thought I’d seen, but I’ve never claimed that what I recalled was absolutely, positively, Mandela’s funeral.)

So, I hope that answers people’s questions about the “Rabbits” references to me and the Mandela Effect.

Meanwhile, Mr. Miles’ explanation for alternate/competing memories – also on page 256 in “Rabbits” – is pretty good.

My own explanations are more diverse, and you can read them at The Mandela Effect, Explained (Sort of).

After I’ve had time to read “Rabbits,” I’ll write a review. At first glance, it looks amusing and fun. I hope the author does very well with his book, and any other projects related to it. (To me, it looks like a fascinating concept for a fun, engaging movie. I’m hoping Mr. Miles already has an option for it.)

And, in general, I’m almost rabidly (not “rabbitly”) enthusiastic about innovative fiction by original thinkers.